Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I read this because it's a hit with a lot of my older middle school & high school students, and hey! It's a movie! and I can see why a lot of them like it. There's a sense of the anxiety and rebelliousness against the lack of control you have over your life, which some people could relate to. There's also the "electrifying" feeling of first love, despite the outcast or popular nature of the girl or boy involved. The mysteriousness and secretive nature of one of those persons involved in the relationship. The annoying presence of irresponsible and obtuse adults. Sound a little familiar? These ever-present elements of paranormal YA are very much present in this book, but maybe that's why so many other readers like it.
There was plenty about the "Caster" (witch, essentially) aspect that felt original, and the setting in the South gave it a mysterious and slightly old-timey Gothic feel. However, the rest of the South-ness about it was so narrow minded and cliche, I could barely stand it. And Ethan sounded like a girl. This would have been so much better told from 3rd person perspective.
So I'm not a fan. But if you're into this genre, you might also like Hush Hush, Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls series), Evermore, Fallen, . . . And here's a quick, IMPORTANT note on these: even though they're not my personal preferred reading, I really enjoy the fact that they have enough appeal to some reluctant readers to get them into reading. Sure, they're not reading highest quality stuff, but getting into these books, and their innumerable sequels, actually is a fabulous gateway into other (perhaps better) books. So while I might not rank them very high, they do have an important place on the shelf, particularly for reluctant readers.